Private Regard, Identity Protection and Perceived Racism among African American Males

Abstract

Previous research has documented the negative effects of racism on the psychological health of African American males. However, consideration of racial identity as a potential buffer against racist experiences has received limited attention. This analysis investigates whether one dimension of the Multidimensional Model of Racial Identity, private regard, reduces the effect of racism on internalizing symptoms in 107 African American late-adolescent males. Findings show that racist experiences were positively associated with greater anxiety and depressive symptoms. Results also indicated that private regard reduced the impact of racist experiences, but only for anxiety symptoms. Specifically, males with lower private who also experienced racism had greater anxiety as compared to those with higher private regard. The potential clinical benefits of private regard for African American males are discussed.

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Correspondence to Mia Smith Bynum.

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This research was presented as a poster presentation at the 2006 convention of the Association for Psychological Science. We thank the Purdue University College of Liberal Arts and the Arthur F. Krueger Scholarship Fund for financial support of this research. We also thank Donald R. Lynam and two anonymous reviewers for helpful comments on an earlier version on this article.

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Bynum, M.S., Best, C., Barnes, S.L. et al. Private Regard, Identity Protection and Perceived Racism among African American Males. J Afr Am St 12, 142–155 (2008). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12111-008-9038-5

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Keywords

  • Black males
  • Racism
  • Racial identity
  • Psychological adjustment